MOSCOW – Real Madrid confirmed on Thursday that it will officially introduce former Spain coach Julen Lopetegui as their new first team coach at 19:00 local time at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
The presentation comes just a day after Lopetegui was sacked as Spain boss on Wednesday after Madrid confirmed on Tuesday evening that he would take over at the club after the World Cup.
Lopetegui was replaced by Fernando Hierro as the Spanish coach for the duration of the World Cup. He was made to abandon the Spain training camp in Krasnodar, along with his technical staff, who will also join Real Madrid, leaving Russia on Wednesday night and landing in Madrid in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Both club and coach have been heavily criticized for the timing of Lopetegui’s signing with Madrid on the eve of the World Cup.
It is also significant that the presentation at the Bernabeu is due to start just as the opening game of the World Cup between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia kicks off in Moscow, and shortly before Fernando Hierro is due to speak to the press for the first time in Sochi, where the Spanish open their World Cup campaign on Friday night.